Skate Park Neighbors' Concerns Rolling Away

Residents living near the new Brook Run Skating Park in Georgia were uneasy when the facility opened this summer.

Fears of constant loud music emanating from the Dunwoody skating facility, gang members congregating and general disruption to the quiet neighborhood adjacent to the Liane Levetan Park site had many neighbors on edge.

Two weeks later, there was a sense of relief.

"I'm pleasantly surprised," said Paul Lowery, who lives across the street from the skate park. "I think they're managing it well."

The park hasn't been without its problems, however. Lowery said more than once the lights remained on overnight.

Skate park manager John Karg said there is an issue with the timer that is being addressed.

DeKalb County opened the 27,000-square-foot skate park--the largest public-run facility of its kind in Georgia--amid worries from nearby residents that Brook Run's size would attract a bad element.

Residents of the nearby Dunwoody North community weren't happy to discover that the park was going to remain open as late as 10:30 p.m. And when 30-foot light poles appeared with speakers attached, residents became more vocal.

But Karg said he tries to stay ahead of problems.

"Routinely, I walk through the parking lot," Karg said. "If I can hear music in the parking lot, it's too loud, and I'll adjust the volume. But we haven't had that problem."

Dunwoody North Homeowners Association president John Heneghan, who was among the most vocal opponents of the late hours and lights before the skate park opened, has tempered his stance. The 40-year-old is even thinking of taking skating lessons.

"If I'm going to be there with my kids, I might as well be skating, too," he said. "I'm an advocate for the park, but I'm still not happy about the hours."

Karg said the skaters who use the park don't want to lose a good thing.

"The skater community is so proud of this place, they respect it," he said. "In turn, they're showing respect to the park and the neighborhood."

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